Mental health fundraising shortfalls are a major challenge for Australia. Now two leading philanthropists in the space are offering their solutions.

Mental health fundraising shortfalls are a major social issue.

Mental health fundraising shortfalls are a major social issue.

Two of Australia’s leading mental health funders are set to share their techniques for changing the philanthropic mindset around the issue, after a recent report highlighted significant underinvestment in the area.

Released late last year,  Australia’s mental health crisis: why private funders are not answering the callfound 85% of private funders believe Australia is facing a mental health crisis. However, only 28% directly and consistently invest in mental health causes.

The findings were based on a survey of 56 philanthropists and corporate foundations. The report was commissioned by Future Generation, the largest private funder of mental health in Australia, with the research conducted by EY.

Major mental health funding shortfall

Despite the fundraising efforts of high-profile organisations such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline, overall mental health charities receive just $1 for every $5 cancer charities receive. Overall, mental health charities receive just 0.8% of the entire gross income of the charity sector.

This funding shortfall comes despite the fact that mental health ranks just behind cancer in Australia’s top four burden of disease groups (the burden of a disease is the number of years of healthy life lost from living with, or dying from, disease and injury).

The report notes that many funders believe that governments are more than adequately funding the sector. But this is often not the case, with government funding mostly channelled to crisis intervention and chronic mental illnesses.

One-in-seven young Australians experience mental ill-health in any given year, with half the adult population suffering from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

Top philanthropists to share mental health fundraising solutions

Against this backdrop, two of Australia’s leading mental health funders are set to discuss the issue at the upcoming Generosity Forum, which will be held in Melbourne on 5 May.

As part of a session titled ‘Should philanthropy be doing more for mental health?’, Grant Family Charitable Trust Chairman John Grant, AM and BHP Foundation Australian Program Director Jennifer Dawson will discuss why they are prioritising the funding of mental health programs.

New inspiration and insights from Australia’s leading philanthropists

At the 2020 Generosity Forum you’ll hear a great mix of insight, inspiration, best practice, new developments and case studies from those leading change in Australian philanthropy. Don’t miss out!

In an interview with Louise Walsh, CEO of the Future Generation companies, they will share techniques for changing the philanthropic mindset on mental health and how they have learned to work within this diverse sector.

Established in 2009, the Grant Family Charitable Trust aims to create better outcomes for vulnerable, young people suffering from mental illness, social deprivation and homelessness. It also seeks to collaborate with other organisations and people wanting to make a difference.

Meanwhile, the BHP Foundation’s Australian Country Program has a focus on indigenous governance and harnessing the potential of young people.

The Generosity Forum will be held on 5 May at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park, opposite the MCG and the Fitzroy Gardens. The conference aims to provide insights, inspiration, best practice, new developments and case studies from those leading change in philanthropy.

At the 2020 Generosity Forum you’ll hear a great mix of insight, inspiration, best practice, new developments and case studies from those leading change in Australian philanthropy. Don’t miss out!

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